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Know How Electricity Is Delivered To Consumers through a Complex Network

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Electricity is produced at power plants. After it is produced it goes across a set of complex systems, which is referred to as a grid, of all the electricity substations, the transformers, and lastly the power lines that make a connection between the consumers and the electricity producers. Almost all the local grids are connected with one another for reliability and all commercial requirements, creating larger, more dependable networks that have the ability to enhance the unique coordination as well the planning of electrical power supply. In some places around the globe, the complete electricity grid comprises hundreds of thousands of miles of high voltage power lines, with some millions of miles of low voltage power lines. Both the high and low voltage lines are connected with distribution transformers. And these links millions of power plants to hundreds of thousands of electricity consumers all across the country and the same. The distributed electricity undergoes several levels of power surges till it reached the end-user. In this process, there are several types of equipment that are used.

Infographic of a hydroelectric supply chain

For Instance, the distribution transformer, which is built by the Distribution Transformer Manufacturer, is one more important device. Based on the supply chain there are several providers who provide the appropriate equipment. 

Electricity Distribution since the invention of electricity

The source of electricity that consumers buy. Certain electric utilities produce all of the electricity they sell by using their power plants. Other utilities purchase electricity from other power marketers, utilities as well as independent producers of power, or through a wholesale market that is operated by an organization that is responsible for regional transmission reliability.

Electricity power distribution became a necessary activity during 1880 when electricity was started being produced at power stations. Before this time electricity was normally produced at the places where it was used. The very first power supply systems were installed in the US cities and the European cities. These were primarily used to supply lighting i.e. arc lighting ran on a much higher voltage approximately around 3000 volts alternating current or the direct current. And the incandescent lighting which used to run a much lower voltage approximately of 100 volts of directs current. Both were used to supplant the gaslighting process, with arc lighting that took over much larger areas and also street lighting, and also the incandescent lighting which replaced gas for residential and business lighting. 

At the start of the 20th century, over 4000 electric utilities were operating independently from one another. When the demand for electricity increased, especially following World War II, utilities began to join their transmission networks. These connections enabled utilities to share in the economic advantages of building large, often owned by a joint electric generator to supply their energy needs at the cheapest cost. Interconnection also decreased the amount of additional generators utilities had to keep to ensure reliability during peak demand times.

hydroelectric power station on Naryn river in Kyrgyzstan

Basics of Electric Power Distribution Systems

Electrical power is prevailing as it is comparatively much simpler for transmission and distribution than any other forms of energy present such as mechanical. For a while imagining mechanical energy being transmitted to just 20 feet of distance. Isn’t it easier and simpler to use wires for transmission instead of chains belts or shafts? In this article, we will concentrate on how electrical power supply is distributed to the consumers.

All about Power Distribution Systems

Normally an electrical distribution substation is located near or inside of a village, town, city, or industrial area. The substation receives the power supply from an organized transmission network. From these transmission lines, high voltage is stepped down with the help of step-down transformers to the primary or central distribution level voltage. This primary or central distribution voltage is normally 11kV, but sometimes it also ranges between 2.4 kV-33 kV. This range depends upon the region it is used and the consumers using it.

A regular power distribution system primarily consists of the following –

  • Distribution substation
  • Feeders
  • Distribution Transformers
  • Distributor conductors
  • Service mains conductors

Along with the above there few other things that a distribution system consists of, like the measurement equipment, protection equipment, switches, and etc.

Distribution feeders

A distribution feeder or “feeder” means a three-phase set of conductors that originate from a circuit breaker in a substation that serves customers within a specified local distribution zone. This is comprised of two-phase, three-phase, and single-phase branches which are usually isolated from all ends of the.

 The stepped-down voltage from the substation is transferred to the distribution transformer through the help of the feeder conductors. Usually, no tappings are received from the feeder conductors so that the electric current remains the same all throughout. The main thought while designing the feeder conductors is the current carrying capacity.

Distribution transformer

A distribution transformer is also known as a service transformer. It does the work of providing final transformation in the entire electrical power distribution system. This is actually a step-down three-phase transformer. A distribution transformer steps down voltage till 400Y/230 volts. This means that the voltage between the neutral and any of one phase is 230 volts. And the voltage of one phase to the other phase is 400 volts. Nevertheless in some of the countries in the world, the split-phase system is used which ranges from 120 to 240 volts. And the voltage between neutral and a phase is 120 volts.

Distributors

From a distribution transformer, the output is carried by a distributor conductor. Here tappings are taken from distributor conductors for the power supply to the consumers or end-users. The electrical current flowing via distribution is not always constant because of the tapping that is made at various points all through its length. As a result dropping of voltage along the entire length is the main concentration while designing a distributor conductor

Service Mains: It is a type of small-length cable that makes the connection between distributor conductors at one of the nearest poles to the end consumer.

The below-given diagram shows a simple radial Alternative Current power distribution system. 

Primary Distribution

Primary distribution is that part of an Alternative current distribution system that primarily operates at rather higher voltages areas than the usual residential consumer utilization. Such as Industries, Commercial complexes, Movie theaters, Amusement Parks, Shops, etc. As the power is directly from the Power Generation station, it is called Primary. 

The most used primary distribution voltages vary in the range of somewhere between 11kV to 33 kV.  Before distribution, the power is stepped up so that it can travel long distances. To do so a Primary distribution needs a Low Voltage Transformer generally built by the Low Voltage Transformer Manufacturer. As mentioned earlier the primary distribution takes care of much bigger and larger end consumers like industries and factories. It also caters to the smaller substations from where the process of secondary distribution is processed further and carried out. Primary distribution is distributed by a three-phase and three-wire system. When generated the power of the primary is stepped up, and sent over to different substations for further distribution.

grid engineering

Secondary Distribution

Secondary Distribution distributes electrical supply directly to the residential consumers. From the Primary distribution the stepped-up power that is being distributed, is being stepped down using the Low Voltage Transformer built by Low Voltage Transformer Manufacturer. Residential consumers are catered with a single-phase supply. This single-phase supply is 230 volts. In some countries, in the USA the supply is 120 volts. Again a three-phase supply is provided for larger properties or commercial buildings or small factories and etc. In most the countries, secondary phase is carried out by a four-wire, three-phase system generally built by Three Phase Power Transformer Manufacturer.

Some Classifications of Power Distribution Systems

In accordance with the nature of current:

  • Direct Current distribution system.
  • Alternating Current distribution system.

In accordance with the type of construction:

  • Underground distribution system.
  • Overhead distribution system.

As a result of the scheme of connection:

  • Ring main distribution system.
  • Radial distribution system.
  • Inter-connected distribution system.

To conclude

By now you have got an idea that how the distribution of electricity is delivered to consumers.  You have by now understood that how the entire system of distribution works. It is now evident that Three-Phase Power Transformers are in demand now. They are generally built by Three Phase Power Transformer Manufacturer.

AuthorMr. Ravi Mahajan is the MD of Muskaan Power Infrastructure Limited. He is originally from Ludhiana, Punjab and it is his deep connection with his roots that has inspired him to venture into the industry through which he can bring great changes for the common people of the country. With a strong educational background in the electrical and electronics field, Mr. Mahajan has enabled Muskaan Power Infrastructure Limited to produce the best electrical equipment with cutting-edge technology. It is the sheer willpower and technical knowledge of Mr. Mahajan that has enabled him to make Muskaan Power grow and thrive at its best.

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